Girls Track and Field: Tia Brennan takes sixth in pole vault for Burlington Central at IHSA state championship

Tia Brennan of Burlington Central competes in the 2A pole vault during the IHSA State Track and Field Finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston on Saturday, May 20, 2023.

CHARLESTON – Burlington Central’s Tia Brennan counted the number of days that she missed in her final track season.

It was an agonizing 63 days.

Brennan said she was worried that she would miss the majority of the season because of a right wrist injury.

Although her senior season was cut short, Brennan made a triumphant return in the pole vault with a personal record at the Class 2A state track and field finals May 20. Her memorable showing earned her a sixth-place medal in the pole vault at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.

She cleared 3.52 meters in the pole vault.

Brennan said she returned to the track in the middle of April.

“I was really happy because I missed 63 days of this season due to a right wrist injury and to come back and get a PR,” Brennan said. “The key for me was to stay focused and be calm.”

Also in the 2A pole vault, Rosary senior Libby Saloga and Kaneland senior Jessica Phillip both tied for ninth place to collect a medal (3.27 meters).

Aurora Central Catholic freshman Cecilia Hilby performed strong in the 800 with a personal-record clocking of 2:18.49 for sixth place. Fenwick sophomore Mia Menendez notched seventh in the event.

“I’m very happy with the outcome in the 800,” Hilby said. “I’ve ran a lot of the 800s, so I got a feel for the race. I knew I had to get out with the front pack. The crowd also helped me finish stronger. It was fun and I enjoyed this a lot and can’t wait to come back next year.”

Burlington Central senior Paige Greenhagel had a productive showing with a third-place medal in the 2A long jump (5.50).

In the 3A meet, St. Charles East’s 3,200 relay team of Marley Andelman, Morgan Sandlund, Lauren Lewison and Claire Van Lue posted a time of 9:22.83 to snare a sixth-place finish in the competitive field. Prospect captured the state title in a time of 9:07.46.